Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Delta Lloyd Regatta: Bronze for Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the NZL 49er

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on Day 2 at Medemblik. Image copyright

by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

We have just arrived in Weymouth, UK, to prepare for our next World Cup event … Sail‐for‐Gold ... having won Bronze at the World cup regatta in Holland. Good to start our European season with some metalware.

The last 10 days have been very eventful. As the container shipping our boat from NZ to Europe was running very late, we delayed our flight from NZ to Europe for a few days.

Our first night was in London to help get over Jet‐lag. A ride in the NZ Olympic Committee “Black Cab” was a highlight. We were even able to stop in the middle of Westminster Bridge to get a photo of the London Eye.

Once in France (after taking the Dover‐Calais ferry) we had a leisurely 5 hour drive to Medemblik, Holland – in plenty of time as we were still waiting for our boat to arrive. We then set up our masts (which flew with us from NZ) and did all we could settling into our accommodation so that when we got the boat we could get sailing as quickly as possible.

It was amazing how efficient the port was ... the ship arrived at Rotterdam at 1pm, by 4pm we were unloading the container at a transport depot and by 7pm we had the boat set up and ready to go sailing. Thanks YNZ and Oceanbridge for getting
this organised.

With the boat set up, we only had two days on the water before the event. Although this wasn’t ideal we made the most of it and come race day we were ready to roll.

The Delta Lloyd Medemblik World Cup regatta was predominately windy, wet and cold – the temperature struggling to get above 12 deg C most days.

Day 1 was very breezy‐ we sailed well enough to have the lead at the end of the day which was nice.

Day 2 was lighter winds‐ we didn’t sail very well and we dropped back to 4th on the leaderboard.

Day 3 & 5 the wind blew over 30 knots causing 49er racing to be abandoned without even getting on the water.

Day 4 averaged 20 knots ‐ our race scores of 4,1,2 moved us up to 3rd overall. A frustrating capsize very near the finish line saw a good lead disappear in Race 3 – short steep waves due to the shallow water made sailing downwind pretty tricky at times.

Day 6 was the 49er top 10 medal race. Mathematically gold or silver was a possibility if we could win the double points race and the crews placed 1st and 2nd finished at the back of the fleet...

Halfway through the medal race we were in front and in silver spot overall if the positions on the water stayed the same. A mistake just after we hoisted the gennaker on the second downwind had us capsizing and we were unable to catch up again, finishing 8th in the race but having done enough in the previous days to still claim 3rd overall.

We will be better next time from the experience and taking home the Bronze Medal was encouraging. Overall a good start to the season and we are looking forward to racing again next week at Round 6 of the World Cup circuit ‐ Sail‐for‐Gold. A quick turn‐around ‐ but we’ll have a few days on the water to work on the lessons learnt from Holland.

Sail‐for‐Gold regatta. Racing is 6‐11th June and starts each day at 11am (10pm NZ time). Website

Cheers, Peter and Blair

Yachting New Zealand